Are you concerned that your business website may be a failure or headed in that direction?
If your website is getting little to no traffic, or you don’t see any business growth stemming from your site, then it may be failing you.
It’s best to act now and fix it before it’s too late, because your business’ success depends on your website’s success.
Here’s a list of 10 reasons why websites fail and how you can avoid making those same mistakes.
#1 No SEO or Poor SEO Strategy
Some websites fail because they either don’t do any SEO, or they don’t do it right.
SEO aids in helping you get found by potential customers via search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. When SEO is done properly, search engines will lead people looking for your services or products — a.k.a. your potential customers — to your website.
Solution: Invest in a web professional that uses reputable SEO strategies or learn how to do some of it yourself.
Good SEO involves:
- Adding a title and page description
- Adding alt text to your photos
- Picking keywords based on solid research
- Using proper headings
- And much more… learn more about what is SEO and what it involves.
#2 Non-Responsive Template or Theme
About 78% of web traffic is done on a mobile device. Is your website able to cater to the crowd searching on their mobile device? For that reason alone, your website should be responsive or in other words be able to scale up or down depending on the screen size of the device and still be easily used.
Solution: If you have a WordPress website, it’s very easy to find a responsive theme on marketplaces like Themeforest. If you are using a website builder, choose one that has ready-made, responsive themes. Squarespace is known for its responsive designs that are simple and modern.
It’s much easier to switch to a responsive theme or template rather than try to convert your current site into a responsive or mobile friendly design.
#3 Lack of Maintenance
Like a plant, your website must be regularly maintained in order for it to thrive and grow. If you neglect your site for long periods of time, it will start to show in various ways such as, a slow drop in traffic due to no new content, or slower site speeds due to not updating your site’s software.
Solution: Regularly do checkups on your site.
Things you should do on a regular basis:
- Check for plugin, theme, and WordPress core updates (applicable if using a WordPress site)
- Add new content to keep your information up-to-date and relevant
- Scan your pages to make sure your site functions as intended — especially your contact form
- Create site backups in case your site is hacked
#4 Annoying features
Some business websites fail because they contain annoying features that repel visitors. For example, have you ever been surprised by a blaring sound that starts as soon as you visit the website? Do you get sick and tired of having to close multiple popup boxes when you’re in the middle of reading an article? It’s likely that if those things annoy you… your visitor will be annoyed by them too.
Some people use pop-up boxes thinking it calls attention to their message, but… it actually does the opposite. These things disrupt the user’s interaction with your website.
Solution: Don’t annoy your visitors with in-your-face features like auto-play videos, music, or pop-ups. There are better ways to integrate the message you want to convey in a less obtrusive way.
If you insist on using a feature that may annoy some users, monitor your website’s traffic stats while doing so. It can give you an idea of whether that feature is repelling customers from your site. It’s also best to get honest feedback from a customer or two about your website.
#5 Bad Design
No doubt, you knew bad design would be on this list. A bad design hinders your website’s success if it consistently repels potential customers.
Here are some things that visually make a site look bad:
- Cluttered designs or layouts that are really distracting
- Blurry, low-res images
- Poor color choices or combinations
- Hard to read fonts due to the style or size
Solution: Find out if your website repels or attracts your target market by asking family, friends, and acquaintances that are in your target market. It’s best to employ a professional web designer when you are ready to invest in the look of your website because designers are trained to look at the big picture and also focus on the tiny details that make up a great design.
#6 Not Enough Content
Another reason why websites fail is because there’s not enough content on the site to attract web visitors and keep their attention. A basic brochure website is not enough if you want to be found online and make an impression. Search engines give more clout to sites that have a bigger digital footprint.
Solution: After establishing the essential pages for your website, dig deeper and build more pages. Create pages on topics related to what you do that would be of interest to your customer or web visitor. For example, if you are a nutritionist you could discuss your take on the latest diets, food trends, or recipes you like. Not only does this help you to build more pages for your site, it helps you build trust and credibility.
#7 Lots of Low-Quality Content
Maybe you don’t have the issue of too little content listed in #6, but could it be that your content is not of great quality or depth? Building out the pages on your website is good, but if it’s all low-quality information… it is worthless.
That’s because low-quality content doesn’t keep the visitor engaged, nor fully answer their questions about you, your services, or things related to your industry.
Solution: Don’t simply fill your site with pages full of fluff and no sustenance. The main reason a web visitor will come to your site and stick around is because you are satisfying the number one question on their mind… “What’s in it for me?”
So, when writing pages for your blog, give your reader enough helpful information that will satisfy their questions — while not giving away all your trade secrets.
On pages you are specifically promoting your services, focus more on what problem you are solving for the customer and exactly how. Some business owners, who are soloprenuers, have found it helpful to write in the first person voice and focus on trying to make less “I” statements and more about “you” the customer as if they are speaking directly to them. When you give your potential customers a clear idea of what you do and how, they are more likely to feel connected to you and trust that you know what you’re talking about.
You may want to consider hiring a content writer if writing is not your strong suit because what’s written on your page is just as important as the design.
#9 Poorly Written Content
Content that’s not written properly is damaging to your website’s success because it undermines your reputation. People will forgive you if they find one mistake on your site. But if it’s filled with many errors, it’s harder to overlook them.
Poorly written content gives your reader an impression that you’re not professional, very careless, or maybe not good at what you do. It can even make your readers lose trust in you if your content contains a high amount of errors.
Solution: Nobody is perfect. So, I’m not going to set the bar high and tell you to be 100% error free because everyone is going to make a mistake… even I have made an error or two. *gasp*
I suggest that you make it a goal to not have a high amount of errors across your site. Make it a priority to check your written content over and over again before you publish it. Sometimes we are so busy or anxious to write something and get it posted that we skim read our content and unknowingly post it with errors. It’s more beneficial to you if you take your time and check your work. It’s even better to ask a trusted friend to proofread your work.
Try to avoid making these content mistakes:
- spelling and grammatical errors
- lots of jargon your reader can’t understand
- broken links
#9 No Clear Calls-To-Action (CTAs)
You may be doing everything else right on this list, but if you forget to put a clear call to action on your website or forget to add your contact information to the site… you will fail to convert web visitors into paying customers.
Solution: Place CTAs throughout your website on every web page to give readers a clear idea of how to act on what they’ve read – whether it’s to give you a call, fill out a form, signup to a newsletter, or send an email. Sometimes when a page is really long, you may need to place more than one CTA on a page.
#10 No Promotional Support
Low traffic is one of the major reasons websites fail and it’s due to the lack of promotional support. A common misconception about websites is that once you launch tons of traffic will automatically come rolling in. The truth is… if you fail to use other means of promotion to support your website, your site will get little to no traffic.
Solution: Drive traffic to your website by utilizing other marketing efforts like SEO, email campaigns, social media, pay-per-click advertising and other paid advertising methods. Also add your website’s URL to your printed marketing materials like business cards, postcards, flyers, and brochures to get the word out about your website.
Make your website a success
After reading those 10 reasons why a website fails, did you realize your site is definitely on the verge of failing? Don’t fret. You can turn it around and make it a success but it will take hard work. The tips above will get you started but if you really want to turn things around you should consult a professional website designer.
If you think your website could use a professional’s touch, feel free to contact me for help! I work with consultants and small business owners who want to turn their website into a powerful marketing tool.